Canadian Immigration News

For Newcomers: The Cost of Living in Canada in 2021

4 minute read
"The pandemic has affected the way Canadians spend their money. As the population retreated inside their homes, the spending on essential goods like groceries increased. Spending on nonessential goods like clothes, gasoline, transportation, etc has fallen, as have their prices. This means, the pandemic also had an impact on the living cost in Canada. "
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 16, 2021
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The pandemic has affected the way Canadians spend their money. As the population retreated inside their homes, the spending on essential goods like groceries increased. Spending on nonessential goods like clothes, gasoline, transportation, etc has fallen, as have their prices. This means, the pandemic also had an impact on the living cost in Canada. 

Going forward, knowing how the prices are going to be affected will help you make wise financial decisions. For example, the housing cost is expected to fall by 7% in the coming months, so if you are planning to buy a house, then now would be a good time to invest. 

While the average Canadian salary has increased on the national average, it is not consistent in all provinces and territories. Provinces like Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have the highest average salaries out of all provinces in Canada. However, the living cost of these provinces is also comparatively higher. 

Are you a foreign national who wants to visit, study or work in Canada for a temporary period? Do you want to take advantage of gaining Canadian work experience and a chance at obtaining permanent residence?

Here’s An Overview of Areas of Cost of Living within Canada

Housing and Rent Cost Considerations: 

Cost of living comes down to the most basic items. Housing and rent costs will depend on where you wish to live in Canada. Living in big metropolitan areas like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver can cost you a lot more than living in Atlantic Canada, for example. These cities are hubs for young professionals and immigrants, therefore, the housing cost is among the highest in Canada. 

Living in Atlantic Canada, or Prairie Province of Alberta will save you in terms of housing cost and rent. 

Healthcare Cost Considerations: 

Canada has a publicly funded healthcare system that provides up to 70% coverage to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents regardless of their socioeconomic background. This includes everything from doctor visits to Covid-19 treatments and other medical treatments. In addition, every province and territory offers its health insurance plan supervised by the federal government. 

If you are planning to immigrate to Canada, then it helps if you review the health insurance plans offered by different provinces to make a wise decision as some will provide more coverage than others. 

Canadians generally pay less for medicines overall as the inflation is curbed by the federal government regulating medicine prices. You can also obtain private health insurance in Canada. Almost 65% of Canadians have some form of private health insurance coverage subsidized by their employer.

Food Cost Considerations: 

Food in Canada is slightly costlier compared to the United States. The beginning of the pandemic caused a sudden change in people’s spending patterns leading to a shortage of toilet paper, bread flour, and an increase in grocery prices.

Canada was forced to import certain foods from the United States and Mexico. As Canada is a vast country, food has to be transported long distances to areas that have less domestic production. Therefore, in the Northern provinces of Nunavut and the Northwest territories, food prices are the highest as the food has to be shipped via plane or ship due to no roads going to the territories.

Transportation Cost Considerations: 

Canada has an efficient public transportation system. In metropolitan areas like Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary, you can choose between taking a bus, subway, tram, or scheduling a car sharing service.

In other coastal areas such as the Atlantic region or British Columbia, ferries are more common. Canada also has a vast network of highways connecting different cities from the west to east coasts if you want to travel by road.

Utilities Cost Considerations: 

Most utility expenses include electricity bills, gas bills, internet/cable bills, etc. Sometimes, utilities may be included in your rent. If not, then you must pay them yourself.

In Canada, Quebec has the cheapest electricity rates while Northwest Territories have the most expensive electricity prices.

However, for internet access, Quebec charges the highest for home internet plans while Halifax has the lowest rates for internet access. The mobile data rates in Canada are also among the highest, $12.55 for 1GB.

Entertainment Cost Considerations: 

Traveling to a new country means that you’d like to explore new places and do something different. Canada has a lot of options in terms of sightseeing and traveling.

From beautiful natural landscapes to cityscapes and architecture, you can pick and choose based on your taste. Canada offers breathtaking National parks with crystal clear lakes and hiking trails and on the flip side, it also has world-famous skyscrapers and popular sports to watch during the season.

As far as weekly activities and social gatherings, you’ll have to see what you like to do and balance it with what you are able to budget for and the length of your stay.

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